My three-year-old is in a booster seat, and I don’t even know how this happened. Basically, I blinked, and now he’s a walking-talking-functional human being with independent thoughts and ideas. I’ve mentioned how buying clothes for him is a little weird because he’s huge for his age. The car seat situation is the same. He’s too big for most harness seats, but he’s still mentally immature and needing something SOLID that keeps him contained in one spot if he wiggles a bit. With our frequent travels, we also need something that can go from car-to-train-to-Uber without much fanfare.
The TurboBooster TakeAlong Highback Booster from our sponsor Graco has quickly become our go-to because of its flexibility and portability. As you can see, it has that oh-so-necessary belt guide to keep the belt in place for kids like mine who may be big and tall but aren’t disciplined enough to avoid toying with the strap if it isn’t held in place. It was the first non-five-point-harness seat that would keep him happily (and safely) sitting in place for long road trip stretches. He’s a fan of the large, solid armrests that many booster seats seem to be lacking nowadays.
For travel, the seat nests into the highback portion of this booster, making it slim and portable! Here’s a top-down angle so you can kind of get a feel for the size when it’s nested. He can carry this on its own, and it also has a handle under the seat part that makes it easy for parents to pick up.
Even better still is the ability to remove the highback section entirely, converting the booster seat to backless. It’s actually sold as a backless-only version, too, so you can cut straight to the chase if your kid is already past that transition phase. You can then pull up on the middle of the booster seat and fold it to decrease its footprint by 50%. If you have a couple kids still in booster seat mode, this is great for stashing in an overhead compartment or taking up less space in a hotel room. One booster never seems to require a ton of space, but when you have three to juggle at the same time? It’s a lot, and that bulk adds up quickly. If you’re carpooling neighbor kids or babysitting grandchildren and looking for an extra booster to keep in the trunk just for when you have them, this is the perfect solution!
Better yet, have the kids carry their own booster seat in the included bag. It’s light and compact enough to tote back-and-forth between houses without any fuss. Everybody wins!
For kids coming from harness seats that usually have cupholders, the lack of cupholders on most booster seats can prompt a kiddo meltdown. Graco addressed that issue, too, with slim cups that nest into themselves. Genius!
I know that there are all sorts of newfangled booster seats on the market boasting various sizes and functionalities. Some are tiny and specially-made for travel, others are shaped like animated characters or have crazy bells and whistles. For us, this is the perfect marriage of compactness and simplicity. It has sturdy bones, for a seat I know I can trust with my newly-transitioned-to-booster preschooler. This is an awkward phase, and I’m glad to have products to help simplify it.
Do you have kids in booster seats? Did you struggle with the transition or moving them from car-to-car?